'Paris and Other Stories' at Aarwun Galleries, Canberra

Aarwun floor talk: Ollis + John Hockney, Sat 9 Sep

Salon des Refusés hangs work by Ollis

Join Moroccan Painting tour 21 Feb - 5 Mar 2018

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Bernard Ollis self portrait after Matisse 2017

Ollis self portrait at Salon des Refusés - S.H.Ervin Gallery


A 2017 work by Ollis - Self portrait after Matisse has been hung in the Salon des Refusés at The National Trust S.H. Ervin Gallery, The Rocks, Sydney.

The Salon des Refusés follows the tradition made famous by Napoleon lll in Paris. He insisted that the huge number of works which had been rejected by the Academy for that year’s Salon, be displayed for the public to view and judge. The very first Salon des Refusés included works by Manet and Pissarro. Visitors to the annual Salon des Refusés exhibition can vote for their favourite artwork in the Holding Redlich People’s Choice Award.


Visit S.H. Ervin Gallery website

From the exhibition Paris and other Stories

'Paris and Other Stories' - Aarwun Gallery


Paris and Other Stories is a vibrant collection of paintings by artist Bernard Ollis, depicting his playful and idiosyncratic view of some of the world’s most beloved cities; Paris, Sydney, London and New York, amongst a host of others. Ollis captures beautifully the romance of these cities with paintings saturated in colour - vibrating with humanity, humour and narrative.

Ollis arrived in Australia after graduating from London’s Royal College of Art at the age of 25 where he was tutored by the likes of David Hockney and Sir Peter Blake. He is winner of the Conrad Jupiter Art Prize, Gold Coast and the John Minton Art Prize, London. He has also been finalist on several occasions for the Sulman, Moran and Dobell Drawing prizes. He has been awarded artist residencies across the globe - from Paris, to Malta, Egypt, China and Antarctica. Well respected as the Director of the National Art School in Sydney (a position which he held for over 10 years) his paintings can be found in 24 prestigious collections the world over, including the Royal College of Art in London, the NGV in Melbourne, the NGA and Parliament House in Canberra. He now lives between Paris and Sydney.

This extraordinary exhibition will open to a private audience on Saturday 9 September 6:00pm with a conversation between the artist Bernard Ollis and seasoned storyteller and journalist John Hockney, brother of the famed British artist David Hockney. Join us for this very special evening which will feature a curious insight in to the origin, career and travels of this exceptional international artist. Accompanied by a light banquet from Versatile Restaurant and wines from Brindabella Hills Winery.

Tickets will be limited. $65.00


Visit Aarwun Gallery website

NEW Website - NEW features

Posted MARCH 2017

You may have noticed a change in the look of the website. The pages have been totally revamped, and are now more easily read on mobiles and tablet devices. We have also taken this opportunity to include a section devoted to etchings.
Since moving to Sydney from Bendigo. Ollis has regularly collaborated with Master Print Maker Ann Smith at her printmaking studio in the Blue Mountains. A selection of the resulting etchings are available, for the first time to view on this website. View etchings




Painting with Bernard in Morocco

21 February – 5 March 2018

Marrakech & the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair
+ Atlas Mountains – Skoura Oasis – Essaouira


I will be leading a 12 day Painting Tour that includes the inaugural Marrakech 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair and a 12 day journey through the landscape of Morocco!


Following an initial immersion into the delights of Marrakech we will work in a variety of locations and explore different subjects including architectural spaces, interiors, urban life, streetscapes, the landscape and people of Morocco. The 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, held at the famous Mamounia Palace-Hotel brings together 17 leading international galleries to represent over 60 emerging and established artists from Africa and its diaspora. A wider program of exhibitions and events coming from the ‘Marrakchi’ arts community, museums and galleries there will be ample inspiration and food for discussion to begin our tour.
As we will travel over the Atlas Mountains, passing through rugged landscape and oasis valleys we will explore the Ksars and Kasbahs of the adobe villages en route. We finish the tour with a few nights at the picturesque fishing port of Essaouira before returning to Marrakech. Evening discussions with reviews and critiques of the works will be a time to share ideas and reflect on our journey together.
Primarily an immersive, cultural holiday we will explore the rich and complex history and contemporary life of Morocco where the indigenous Amazigh (Berber) people maintain a strong connection with the land and their ancient traditions and lifestyle. Traveling with a small group of like-minded people the program offers an innovative and creative way to explore a new place that is stimulating, supportive and safe. Partners are also welcome to join the tour and will be well catered for.